Kuehne + Nagel: High level result in a tough environment

Initiatives to improve technological capabilities make the global transport and logistics company more cost effective

Kuehne + Nagel: High level result in a tough environment Bild: Kühne+Nagel
  • Net turnover, gross profit and EBIT increased
  • EBITDA grew by 3.1% before IFRS 16-Leasing effects
  • Seafreight successful in all KPIs
  • Airfreight further increases gross margin
  • Overland improves results again
  • Contract logistics continues restructuring

In the first half of 2019, the Kuehne + Nagel Group increased net turnover by 5.3 percent, gross profit by 5.5 percent and EBIT by 2.0 percent compared to the previous year’s period. Seafreight and overland continued the growth momentum of the first quarter. In light of the deteriorating market environment, airfreight experienced a decrease in volume. The restructuring in contract logistics proceeded according to plan.

Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, says: “The Kuehne + Nagel Group achieved a high level result in the first half of 2019. This was due to the consistent implementation of our strategy in all business units. With our initiatives to improve our technological capabilities we will become more cost effective and improve customer service. We are well set to successfully meet the challenges of an ever demanding market”.

Kuehne + Nagel Group 1st half-year 2019 1st half-year 2018 Variance
CHF million      
Net turnover 10,600 10,066 5.3%
Gross profit 4,015 3,806 5.5%
Operational result (EBITDA) *) 869 608 42.9%
EBIT *) 511 501 2.0%
Earnings for the period 384 390 -1.5%

*) The effects of the implementation of IFRS 16-Leases on the Income Statement and the Balance Sheet are disclosed in the Consolidated Interim Financial Statements.

Seafreight successfully grew volume in the first half of the year by 4.5 percent, while the overall market grew by only 2.5 percent. With 2.39 million TEU, the Group managed 103,000 units more than in the same period of the previous year. The Group’s selective growth strategy, effective cost control and focus on customer service are yielding results. The demand for digital seafreight solutions has also shown positive developments.

Due to the stagnating markets of some key industries, the Group’s airfreight volume decreased by 5.8 percent to 813,000 tons compared to the same period of the previous year. However, growth was achieved with industry solutions for pharma & healthcare, as well as for perishables. Quick International Courier, one of the market leaders in time-critical transport and logistics services for the pharma & healthcare and the aviation industries, was integrated successfully.

In overland, net turnover increased by 3.3 percent and gross profit by 4.9 percent. Growth in this business was well above the market, however it slowed down in the second quarter in line with market trends. The primary growth drivers in Europe were Germany and France, while large customers performed well in North America. Due to falling oil prices, intermodal business in the US and project business in Middle East & Africa stagnated.

Restructuring in contract logistics continued through the second quarter. Net turnover increased by 4.4 percent and gross profit by 2.7 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. New business in pharma & healthcare, as well as e-commerce fulfilment, yielded positive results. Further efficiency gains are expected in the future leveraging the implementation of the global warehouse management system combined with the new picking technology, already deployed in more than 100 warehouses.